Pinterest, the visual-focused social sharing startup, has taken the online world by storm over the last year. According to the latest referral traffic and active user statistics as reported by Media Bistro, Pinterest has surpassed LinkedIn as the third most-popular social network in the world with a 145% increase in daily users since January 2012.
What makes the story of Pinterest so unique is that accompanying its stratospheric growth are revenue and engagement metrics that have turned the social network into one of the few sources in the space that are actually delivering traffic and significant revenue.
A study conducted by online jewelry site Boticca.com revealed that Pinterest users’ online spend averages $180 – more than twice that of Facebook users who spend an average of only $85. Pinterest has also been extremely successful in driving traffic to third-party sites. Women’s Health Magazine recently reported that 25% of its referral traffic comes from Pinterest.
Combining such healthy engagement rates with top-of-the-line revenue metrics yields a market segment to die for. A recent report by marketing analytics firm Convertro reveals Pinterest as the fastest growing social media traffic source for e-commerce sites in terms of revenue. In Q2 2011, Pinterest represented only 1.2% of social media revenue for e-commerce sites. Currently, Pinterest represents 17.4% of social media revenue — a 1350% increase in only 12 months’ time.
For marketers and brands looking to establish strong social media campaigns, establishing a presence on Pinterest (or any site) is only the first step. Monitoring and using analytics on campaign activity is essential to understanding the interests of your audience and the effectiveness of your strategies.
Fortunately for the online marketer, there are a handful of existing (or soon-to-be-released) analytics platforms to help break down and understand Pinterest traffic:
Pinerly is the Pinterest-specific analytics platform, allowing you to follow and unfollow pinners, schedule pins, find popular pins, and track the progress of “campaigns” (Pinerly-tracked pins). Unfortunately, Pinerly is operating on an invite-only basis, so you’ll have to hop on the waitlist to get access.
WP Pinner is a WordPress plugin that allows you to manage your Pinterest account.
WP Pinner allows users to auto-pin WordPress Posts, schedule pins to post, auto follow users, and keep track of other performance metrics (CTR, likes, re-pins, etc.) WP Pinner is also still in beta, but signing up on their site will grant you beta access (it only took me about 5 minutes to receive my invite).
Cyfe is a dashboard that monitors metrics and analytics across all of your online services and sites and then stores them in one centralized location.
Adding a Pinterest widget allows you to easily measure your campaigns performance in relation to the site. Cyfe has a basic version for free and several paid alternatives (which come with more features).
Of all of the available analytics platforms for Pinterest, I found Cyfe to be the most visually appealing. It also made sense to aggregate an entire campaign’s key performance indicators in a centralized location, as opposed to managing separate tools for each facet of a campaign. Although, that being said, WP Pinner and Pinerly seem to offer a greater level of granularity in terms of Pinterest-specific analytics.
Three Pinterest Analytics You Should Pay Attention To
• Clicks per Pin – Measuring actual clicks generated by a Pinterest pin is an essential tool in measuring the success of your marketing campaign (similar to CTR).
Keeping track of this metric can reveal the best content and strategies with which to engage your audience by showing which pins generate the most visits, which pins have the highest levels of interaction, etc. While this is one of the most frequently referenced metrics for Pinterest and online advertising, it is important to keep in mind that click-through rates only tell part of the story when it comes to evaluating campaign effectiveness.
• Re-pins per Pin – A study by RJMetrics shows that over 80% of all pins on Pinterest are re-pins. This figure illustrates the potential for “virality” within Pinterest, and the propensity of its users to share amongst themselves and the community at large.
Paying close attention to this metric can help identify which posts prove fruitful for expanding brand presence or achieving the goals of your marketing campaign. It can also highlight content which may not be suited for your target demographic.
• Average Visit Duration – Monitoring the average time spent on site by Pinterest visitors on a pin-by-pin basis or in aggregate can provide great insight into what content drives your target market and will help you reach your campaign goals.
Longer average visit duration lends itself to a greater number of pages visited, an increased chance of conversion, and the potential for new customers.
Based on the available figures, Pinterest is leaps and bounds ahead of where Facebook and Twitter were when they were Pinterest’s “age.” The site’s inherent product focus and well-defined user base will likely prove to be a gold mine for marketing campaigns and e-commerce sites moving into the future.
For big brands and marketers, Pinterest’s success illustrates how social media channels continue to impact the B2C marketplace in meaningful ways.
However, given the highly-targeted nature of Pinterest content (at least for the time being), if you are maintaining or considering a presence on the platform, you should expect a lower level of performance for Pinterest traffic across a wider range of campaigns and brands.
Companies can’t afford to rely on a single overall channel – establishing a strong presence across social, search, and other major channels helps ensure a maximum level of ROI within each particular market segment.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.